Top 5 Tours from the last 25 years

I think people enjoy Top 5/10 lists so how about another one. I think it should be restricted to the last 25 years as the majority of people on here seem too young to go back much further or maybe that is just me. Could be wrong though.

My top 5 is
1. 1989- LeMond v Fignon, decided on final stage, 9 secs
2. 1987-Roche v Degado, great battle, truly memorable moments, La Plagne
3. 1986- LeMond v Delgado, teacher v pupil, internal team rivalry
4. 2003- Lance v everyone, lots of unforgettable moments, crashes
5. 2008- No idea who is gonna win, oh Sastre, really!!!

98 & 06 were great races also but destroyed with doping scandals. Looking forward to hearing other suggestions.
 
Mar 12, 2009
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You meant Lemond vs Hinault for 1986 right?

I will give you '89 and '87 for two big ones but '06 was very impressive, all other factors aside.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Have to agree with pmcg76 - The Sastre win was a surprise. Have not seen too many tours over the last 25 years, but 2003 was a good year.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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I agree on 2003 and 2008. I can't really comment on earlier races earlier than Armstrong's reign though because they're so hard to get more than 5 minutes of on DVD, and SBS in Australia only started showing live coverage in 2005. I would love to watch Ullrich's win if I could find a copy, in fact I'd watch any video footage I could get of any earlier races.

I think 06 was exciting simply because it was the first time in 7 years we didn't know the outcome and then all the GC favourites were simply stupid to let someone as classy as Periero get so much time, but otherwise it wasn't as great as others.

I also enjoyed Cunego's Giro win in 2004.
 
Well, more than five, but here's my big list:

1987 Tour – Roche and Delgado duel to the end.
1989 Tour - Lemond nips Fignon on the last day. Still the best Tour ever.
1993 Tour – Tony Rominger almost knocked off Indurain in his prime.
1996 Tour - Doping or not, it was a dramatic race.
2003 Tour - On a very weak team, a fit and focused Ullrich should have won, but Lance really toughed it out.
2006 Tour – Doping or not…
2008 Tour – Very close to the end.

1988 Giro - Andy Hampsten survives the blizzard on the Gavia.
1990 Giro - Bugno wins from Prologue to Milan. The last time a racer in any GT held the leader jersey from start to finish.
1997 Giro - Gotti grits out a dramatic and close win.
1998 Giro - The Pirate sails away with the treasure! Pantani’s only Giro win.
2004 Giro - Cunego-Simoni duel. Very scenic Giro as well.
2005 Giro – Close race with a great final mountain stage over the Finestre.
2007 Giro – Great mountain stages, as Diluca hangs on for the win.

1985 Vuelta – When Delgado attacks on the last day, no one helps Millar chase, including his own team.
1987 Veulta – Sean Kelly drops out 2 days from the finish with bleeding saddle sores (he won the following year)
1994 Veulta – Rominger squeezes out a :29 duel over Zulle and takes all three jerseys. Third place rider is 9 min back.
1995 Veulta – Jalabert wins all three jerseys and an incredible 9 stages.
2002 Vuelta – A rain soaked Angliru decimates the peloton causing riders, and cars to slip, slide, stall and crash.
2003 Vuelta – Heras fends off Nozal.
2008 Vuelta - Contador pulls off a Giro-Vuelta double, just ahead of Levi.
 
Alpe d'Huez said:
1993 Tour – Tony Rominger almost knocked off Indurain in his prime.
.
We've only been getting the Tour here (aus) since 1990 (I think), but, yeah, that was one I was gunna mention. Loved it. I really thought he was gunna do it. For memory, I think there was a mountain stage where it was just the two of them duking it out, and I thought he was gunna crack Indy. Was that the one in which he punctured during a TT? I don't think that cost him too much time though
 
Good memory. Tony spent June of 1993 living in Leadville, Colorado and riding up Mt. Evans all the time to build up his hemoglobin. When he got to the Tour he was very fit. But his team, Clas, was very, very weak, while Mig rode for the mighty Banesto/Reynolds team. During the TTT Rominger was penalized 2 minutes for pushing one of his own teammates, plus his team finished 3 minutes back in the long 81km course. He also flatted during the last ITT, and in the first ITT rode during the rain while Mig rode mostly in the dry weather.

Tony attacked Mig every chance he could on the climbs and won the KOM jersey. The stage you are probably thinking of is either the Isola 2000, or Saint-Lary-Soulan where the two of them did duke it out. Tony finally jumped ahead at the end, but he only won by about 2 seconds. I remember it being exciting because Rominger would attack, but Mig was so strong the elastic wouldn't quite break.

In the 2004 Tour Tony crashed out early, and in 2005 he concentrated on the Giro. By 2006 he was aging, and everyone was completely jacked up on EPO and he finished in 10th, ironically just ahead of Indurain.

This is indeed a long lost Tour, and I've got it on a DVD transfer somewhere around the house here.
 
Alpe d'Huez said:
Good memory. Tony spent June of 1993 living in Leadville, Colorado and riding up Mt. Evans all the time to build up his hemoglobin. When he got to the Tour he was very fit. But his team, Clas, was very, very weak, while Mig rode for the mighty Banesto/Reynolds team. During the TTT Rominger was penalized 2 minutes for pushing one of his own teammates, plus his team finished 3 minutes back in the long 81km course. He also flatted during the last ITT, and in the first ITT rode during the rain while Mig rode mostly in the dry weather.

Tony attacked Mig every chance he could on the climbs and won the KOM jersey. The stage you are probably thinking of is either the Isola 2000, or Saint-Lary-Soulan where the two of them did duke it out. Tony finally jumped ahead at the end, but he only won by about 2 seconds. I remember it being exciting because Rominger would attack, but Mig was so strong the elastic wouldn't quite break.

In the 2004 Tour Tony crashed out early, and in 2005 he concentrated on the Giro. By 2006 he was aging, and everyone was completely jacked up on EPO and he finished in 10th, ironically just ahead of Indurain.

This is indeed a long lost Tour, and I've got it on a DVD transfer somewhere around the house here.
Hmmm, good summary. :) Wow! I'd forgotten about the TTT debacle in '93 -- and he lost by 4,59, according to Wiki.

Rominger came to Australia in 1993 when he was still a superstar, which was obviously big news in the bike scene. He was meant to 'race', but pulled out of the event at the bottom of 'the big climb'. It was in his off-season (the southern summer), and he apparently said all along that he was out of shape, and would not win, but everyone was like: "What? One of the best climbers in the world can't even ride up our P1SSY little mountain with a bunch of local neo pros?!" Funny. :)

I'm trying to find a link, but can't. I bet you know more about it.

A guy I knew was driving along the local "everyone rides on this road" road with his bike and kit in his car, and spotted Rominger riding alone. The guy sped down the road a few miles, got changed into his kit as quickly as he could, then rode along with him and had a chat. Sorry -- that's all I can remember :D

I found some old forum stuff froma couple of Aussies on Bike Forums about it:



-- "I raced with him at the 1993 Melbourne-Mt Buller.....like a mate of mine said on SBS "It was like shooting some 1-on-1 with Michael Jordan."


-- " Yeah, I remember him coming out. He raced that old Mazda Tour in South Australia as well. My dad was managing a team on the race, and my sister was helping out on the team. I went over for the F1 GP and saw the last stage. He had his missus and kid with him, really only here for a holiday.
Great to see him race, but he wasn't very fit. My sister had a photo taken with him. She reckoned he wasn't a bad bloke."
 
All the lists so far are very appealing. Mine would be:

89 Down to the wire...
86 A battle of titans...
87 Ireland vs. Spain...
98 (Had to give one to Italy and Marco)...
2003 Jan, ohhh how victory would have been so sweet!....(The best rider, as Hinault intelligently said, doesn't always win.)
 
Apr 12, 2009
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89 and 87 are definitely the two best.

I'm not so sure about 2003: it was quite exciting at the time . . . but then, at the last second, the overdog pulled out an amazing ride and won again. So you built up all our expectations for what now . . . ?

2006 is a similar case: it was exciting to watch, and in fact a lot like 1987, with one guy pulling out an amazing mountain ride at the last second to claw back within striking distance for the final time trial. Then there was the morning after!

2004 and 1984 were a lot alike -- a total ***-handing-out that got depressing after a while.
 
Apr 12, 2009
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benpounder said:
Does Lemond still own the fastest time trialist ever record for his 89 win?
Nah -- that record is now held by Zabriskie for the 2005 opening TT. The catch here is that these are the fastest "long" time trials on record -- because they were also probably the two shortest "long" time trials on record. The 89 final TT was about 15 miles; the 2005 opening TT was comparable. A number of prologues have, of course, been faster than either of these, with the fastest being one of Boardman's (56 KPH?).

The fastest long TT in any grand tour was in one of Heras' Vueltas. The course was slightly downhill, there was a tailwind, and the winner (random Spaniard) did something like 57 KPH.

The fastest prologue in any grand tour was the 2001 Giro Prologue -- Rik Verbrugghe rode 58.874 KPH! I don't know what the conditions were but I assume they were damn weird.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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2003 was unforgetable!!!

Beloki's crash in the descent into Gap, Armstrongs "shurtcut" to prevent the fall...:(
Hamilton riding with a fractured collarbone...
Armstrongs suffering ( really thought Ullrich will beat him that year:eek:)
Vino's rellentles attacks
Ullrichs time trial preformance...
Mayos win on the Alpe D'Huez:cool:
Armstrong falling, getting up and winning the mountain stage on Luz Ardiden:eek:
Ullrich falls in the last stage... => Armstrong winning the 5 Tour in a row and his name finnally among the greats...
Tour de France dubbed Tour de Lance by a french commentator


Stars, drama, history, pain, tragedy = the best TOUR EVER!!!
People can argue all they want, this Tour was worthy of being called a centenary Tour, and it was won by the best ever Tour de France rider, Lance Armstrong!!
 
I agree with Belokki that 03 was a great Tour but beforehand everyone expected Lance to win before the event and he came good to win despite the drama for the fifth time!!!

However, having witnessed the 89 Tour first hand, its hard to beats for nailbiting tension. A recap perhaps.

In 89, the drama started in the prologue and lasted until the final rider finished on that famous avenue in Paris. For a start, there were 4 former winners on the start line Delgado, Roche, LeMond & Fignon plus other pretenders like Rooks, Mottet, Theunisse.

The Drama
Defending champion Delgado howing up late for his prologue and finishing last on the stage.
Then his team finishing last in the Team time trial to leaving him second last in GC over 7 minutes behind. Delgado spent the rest of the race on the attack, eventually amazingly finishing 3rd only 3 minutes back.

LeMond on his first Tour since his hunting accident winning the stage 5 TT to take the yellow jersey.
He held on until the pyrenees where he lost it to Fignon with constant attacking by Delgado & Mottet.

Maillot Jaune Fignon attacking on Bastille day with Mottet on a flat stage!!

LeMond then retaking the yellow jersey back following the mountain time trial won brillantly by Steven Rooks.

At Alpe d'Huez,Fignon retakes the jersey back again. Theunisse in the polka dot climbers jersey winning the stage following one of the greatest solo rides ever.
Yellow jersey Fignon attacking on a medium mountain stage to extend his lead to almost a minute.
On the third to last stage, the top five on GC take of on another medium stage with LeMond winning the sprint at the finish.
Fignon spitting at the French cameraman.
Then the final stage, a TT from Versailles into Paris. LeMond with the aerodynamic handlebars and helmet powering to the finish. Then the countdown until Fignon arrived, I remember Phil Liggett shouting, "Fignon has lost the Tour" The sight of Fignon weeping in Paris.
8 seconds between first & second!!!
Sean Kelly winning a then record fourth green jersey

Hard to beat as nobody gave LeMond a chance beforehand.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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pmcg76 said:
I agree with Belokki that 03 was a great Tour but beforehand everyone expected Lance to win before the event and he came good to win despite the drama for the fifth time!!!

However, having witnessed the 89 Tour first hand, its hard to beats for nailbiting tension. A recap perhaps.

In 89, the drama started in the prologue and lasted until the final rider finished on that famous avenue in Paris. For a start, there were 4 former winners on the start line Delgado, Roche, LeMond & Fignon plus other pretenders like Rooks, Mottet, Theunisse.

The Drama
Defending champion Delgado howing up late for his prologue and finishing last on the stage.
Then his team finishing last in the Team time trial to leaving him second last in GC over 7 minutes behind. Delgado spent the rest of the race on the attack, eventually amazingly finishing 3rd only 3 minutes back.

LeMond on his first Tour since his hunting accident winning the stage 5 TT to take the yellow jersey.
He held on until the pyrenees where he lost it to Fignon with constant attacking by Delgado & Mottet.

Maillot Jaune Fignon attacking on Bastille day with Mottet on a flat stage!!

LeMond then retaking the yellow jersey back following the mountain time trial won brillantly by Steven Rooks.

At Alpe d'Huez,Fignon retakes the jersey back again. Theunisse in the polka dot climbers jersey winning the stage following one of the greatest solo rides ever.
Yellow jersey Fignon attacking on a medium mountain stage to extend his lead to almost a minute.
On the third to last stage, the top five on GC take of on another medium stage with LeMond winning the sprint at the finish.
Fignon spitting at the French cameraman.
Then the final stage, a TT from Versailles into Paris. LeMond with the aerodynamic handlebars and helmet powering to the finish. Then the countdown until Fignon arrived, I remember Phil Liggett shouting, "Fignon has lost the Tour" The sight of Fignon weeping in Paris.
8 seconds between first & second!!!
Sean Kelly winning a then record fourth green jersey

Hard to beat as nobody gave LeMond a chance beforehand.
Sounds great:D....sorry I missed it:mad:
 
Mar 18, 2009
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greenworld, the 2001 Giro prologue was literally a drag strip - 7.6 km along the seafront run at night. Cipollini turned up in the 'muscle man' skin suit.
 
Great recap PMG76, I think you hit all the key points, but left one dramatic element out. Greg was less bitter and cranky in those days than he seems now, and quite personable - making him the perfect underdog hero, while his main rival Fignon was crabby and cranky that entire month and the big favorite riding for the powerful System U team.

Before that Tour Greg finished 50 minutes behind Fignon in the Giro, but he was 2nd in the final ITT there. Heading into the Tour he said he just wanted to finish well, and if he made the top 10, he'd be very happy. After he won the first ITT he told his wife he was super happy with the win if that's all he won. But his competitive spirit was so high, and when they hit the mountains he was able to climb pretty well and realized he had to go for it.

He also got some encouragement from the press, and other riders, as Greg was personable and gave a lot of interviews in French, while Fignon earned the priz citron "award" from reporters for his perpetual dour mood and insisting all questions be in French (though he speaks excellent English), and was unfriendly to everyone it seemed. Fignon said Greg was playing the roll of a weak chicken, and complained that Lemond's weak ADR team didn't matter, because Delgado, Millar, Richard, Roche, Rooks and others were his "teammates", which didn't rest well with anyone, all making Fignon the perfect villain.

Greg then got stronger as the Tour progressed and that final ride down the Champs-Élysées was one for the ages, especially the site of a collapsed Fignon crumpled up in agony and exhaustion after realizing his loss, and the joyous Lemond in celebration, with the majority of fans cheering the result.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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1998 for me.

That one had it all.

The Festina falldown. The Spanish panic. The sitdowns. TVM riders (with teammanager Priem in a French jail) abandoning the race as soon as it crosses the Swiss border.

The field cut down by this classic cycling drama leaving us with two contenders even Hollywood would find too obvious.

The Eastern European superhuman powerhouse versus the more fragile, flamboyant and tormented Italian artist.
(edit: nevermind, Rocky IV)

The collapse of Ullrich on Les Deux Alpes, Pantani saving the reputation of the Tour de France and getting a legendary Giro-Tour double.


Still thrilled just thinking about. :)
 
Thanks to Alpe d'Huez for providing the backdrop to the race in 89.

LeMonds team ADR really were rubbish, that would be like someone from Agritubel winning this year. I think there was a Flemish joke that translated as ADR stood for 'All the rejects'. LeMond was very much in the last chance saloon and I think Coors Light were involved in covering his salary as they were co-sponsors at the Tour.

The 89 race was what inspired me to get into cycling. I had watched the Tour in 87 because it was big news here with Stephen Roche winning but surprisingly didnt get into it then.

Ironically,Mr Alpe d'Huez, one of the stages I remember best was Pascal Richard being away in a break with Bruno Cornillet on the stage to Briancon which he won. I remember he was wearing the Swiss Champions jersey. Oh, to be a child again and have that innocence.
 
Apr 12, 2009
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Alpe d'Huez said:
Fignon was . . . the big favorite riding for the powerful System U team.
Let's not forget that both Fignon and Lemond were making comebacks that year. Lemond, of course, was returning from his gunshot wound, but Fignon was finally bouncing back from four years of (mostly) bad form since his win in '84. If he had been some invincible cyborg like Armstrong or Indurain, that would have been one thing. But what was so compelling about '89 was that it was that all three favorites were "sentimental" favorites in one way or another -- Delgado for his horrible luck the opening week, Fignon for his years of mediocre performances, and Lemond for his injury. A win by any one would have felt extremely satisfying; unfortunately, races don't work that way!
 

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